Chinese Zoo Attempts to Pass a Big Dog Off as a Lion, Until it Barks
Not only did a zoo in the People's Park in Henan, China, attempt to pass off a particularly large breed of dog known as aTibetan Mastiff as a lion, there were other animals misplaced in the zoo, angering patrons.
The large dog is definitely a close comparison to a lion, but one patron identified only by his surname Liu, who took his son to discover the different sounds animals made, was not fooled. “The zoo is absolutely cheating us," Liu told Beijing Youth Daily, according to Times Live. "They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions." He said he knew something was wrong when the animal started barking.
The newspaper contacted the chief of the park’s animal department, who had an interesting excuse for the mix-up. The man claimed that the zoo does indeed have a lion, but that he was taken to a breeding facility. Meanwhile, the zoo decided to house an employee’s dog in the empty cage over “safety concerns.”
This naturally raises some questions, such as why would the display remain open if the designated animal was away, and why would a zoo place a worker’s dog in the lion’s cage? The situation becomes even more suspect as the paper continues to report several other inter-species mix-ups at the park, including two coypu rodents in a snake's cage, a white fox in a leopard's den, and another dog in a wolf pen.
Either the person placing these animals is illiterate or the zoo is falling on tough times and doing all it can to keep visitor numbers up.